Police in the district of Sigmaringen have reported an increase in cases of illegal prostitution taking place in holiday apartments, with landlords struggling to prevent the illegal activity from taking place. Cases are no longer isolated to one area, as police report incidents in Mengen and Pfullendorf.
The problem is thought to have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to legal prostitution establishments remaining closed while hotels and holiday apartments remained open. This meant that many prostitutes had to look for alternative locations to carry out their work. Even when legal establishments reopened, some prostitutes continued to rent holiday apartments or hotels, attracted by lower rental costs and the anonymity they offered.
Police spokesperson Christian Sugg has suggested that the motivations behind this type of prostitution include the desire to maximize profits, the avoidance of regulation, and the ability to acquire customers easily. Holiday apartments and hotels are particularly popular locations as they offer the potential for anonymity, with contactless check-ins and check-outs making it easy for the sex workers to operate unnoticed.
The police have called on landlords to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the authorities. They suggest that landlords ensure they have personal contact with guests, rather than renting solely through online platforms. They also urge people to be aware of the signs of prostitution taking place, such as frequent visitors to a property and people staying for short periods of time.
The rise in this type of illegal activity highlights the need for tighter regulation and monitoring of short-term rental properties, and the police will be stepping up efforts to detect and prosecute those involved.
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